Part 4/Photography – Research

ADAMS, ROBERT- LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER – YOU TUBE INTERVIEW

(Accessed April 2, 2019) Part of the 10 Photographers who took part in the 1975 New Topographic exhibition about banal landscape photographs that actually told a story about how nature was being destroyed by man.  Robert Adams was a teacher turned photographer after becoming disillusioned with teaching.  His photos are black and white pictures of various landscapes, mostly trees, quite morbid and depressing in some cases, where he described the uprooting photos of trees like corpses.

ADAMS, ROBERT – GETTY MUSEUM – COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS

(accessed April 2, 2019)

“Robert Adams has photographed the landscape of the American West for more than forty years, particularly in California, Colorado and Oregon. His vision is inspired by his joy in nature’s inherent beauty, yet tempered by his dismay at its exploitation and degradation. Adams uses photography to express his love for the landscape and to understand how urban and industrial growth have changed it, all the while insisting that beauty in the world has not been entirely eclipsed”.

ANSEL ADAMS – BBC DOCUMENTARY (accessed April 3, 2019)

Born in San Fransisco – 1902 – gave up being a concert pianist to be a photographer.  When he saw Paul Strands negatives in Mexico made him convert fully to a photographer.  The interviewer asks him if being a musician and photographer are these  two things related- he said the writer …. says that  “All artists are expressionists of the same things”.  Some of his photos he would change in the dark room by making them darker or lighter – different method to Bresson’s ‘Decisive Moment’ where he believes the photo shouldn’t be changed

ARNATT, KEITH – SELF BURIAL TELEVISION INTERFERENCE PROJECT (1969)

(accessed March 20, 2019)

Nine still black and white photos taken on a daily basis showing Arnatt disappearing into the ground.   Photos were shown every two seconds, each day on German television, with viewers having to figure out what it was all about.

“The continual reference to the disappearance of the art object suggested to me the eventual disappearance of the artist himself”, he wrote.

BERRY, IAN – WHITBY, NORTH YORKSHIRE – MAGNUM PHOTOS (accessed March 25, 2019)

A group of photos taken by Ian Berry of black and white images of Whitby in North Yorkshire (PLACE)

CARTIER-BRESSON, HENRI – THE DECISIVE MOMENT – PHOTOGRAPHER

Two excellent you tube videos on the amazing Henri Cartier-Bresson who was known for his ‘Decisive Moment’ photography, some say street photography.  Started off as a painter and ended his life as a painter, but inbetween he took amazing photographs, was able to define a photograph instantly, believed a photograph should only be taken once and not be altered with, didn’t matter if it was out of focus, just should mean something and not be able to be duplicated by someone else.  His famout ‘The Decisive Moment’ book is a book that by all accounts should be owned by photographers, he is considered to be the most important photographer of all time.  Specifically in the Realism movement.

https://youtu.be/Qgnie1F6uVY (accessed April 1, 2019)

https://youtu.be/WsNnJLv1pkk (accessed April 1, 2019)

DAVIES, JOHN – INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER 

(Accessed April 4, 2019)

Davies explored the different landscapes that were being turned into large-scale urban cities and investigated the disposal and privatisation of public open spaces.  He was one of the first photographers to be commissioned by the Museum of London in 2001 – “to explore the major arterial road links which run through the capital”

“These photographs are made deliberately in an un-sensational and often understated way to allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions and to avoid imposing my own view of urban change” John Davies.

 

EPSTEIN’S MITCH – NEW TOPOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHER – AMERICAN POWER PROJECT

(accessed April 2, 2019)

An interesting collection of photos from Mitch Epstein – showing everyday landscape photos with large power stations in the background or windturbins, man made dam going through the Arizona mountains.  Photos showing how man has intervened with nature and taken away some of the most beautiful and natural landscapes.  He was born in 1952 and helped to pioneer fine art colour photographs in the 1970s.

FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS – EXPERT PHOTOGRAPHY

A Selection of 27 of the Greatest Photographers as chosen by Craig Hull, a photographer based in Budapest.  I was very interested in the photographers classed in the groups of Street Photography and photo journalism.  My favourite being Henri-Cartier Brenson, but maybe that’s because I’ve only really looked at his work so far out of the ‘famous’ ones listed.  Excellent links and descriptions given by Hull.

GODWIN, FAY- FORBIDDEN PROJECT 

(accessed April 2, 2019)

Fay Godwin was born in Germany but settled in England in 1950’s.  As a keen rambler, she fought for people to have the right to walk anywhere in the British countryside and brought attention to harm being done in the environment by taking photographs which then resulted in the project ‘Forbidden Project’ – Looking at her amazing photographs, makes me think of my own photographs I have taken in the past, my favourite being of Winterton-on-sea, the landscape scenery is beautiful, with windturbines seemingly floating in the sea, far in the distance.  I’ve also started to take photos of the landscape and architecture of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and am fascinated by the incredible artwork and beauty of both countries and how the landscape and architecture is changing dramatically into expensive, high rise buildings, banks, petrol stations, oil wells .It makes me want to highlight the adverse changes and i can’t wait to continue to take photos whilst I can before Saudi Arabia becomes a tourist hotspot with its every changing rules and policies.

 

GRAHAM, PAUL – A1 Project

In 1981/2 Paul Graham completed a photographic project called the ‘A1 – ‘The Great North Road’ – it was completed in colour and contained a series of photos taken randomly along the length of the British A1 Road.  This Project was to change the practice of taking normal black and white photos taken in the ‘documentary’ genre.  Later photographic based artists would approach the medium as ‘artists using photography’.

https://paulgrahamarchive.com/introduction.html (accessed March 18, 2019)

https://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/a1.html#a (accessed March 18, 2019)

HAMISH FULTON – TATE GALLERY

(accessed March 19, 2019)

Hamish Fulton was born in 1946 and describes himself as a ‘walking artist’ – he believes walking is ‘Art’

“At this time, and subsequently, his practice was influenced by an unusually broad set of interests including the subject of the environment and the culture of American Indians. In 1973, having walked 1,022 miles in 47 days from Duncansby Head (near John O’Groats) to Lands End, Fulton decided to ‘only make art resulting from the experience of individual walks.’ Since then the act of walking has remained central to Fulton’s practice. He has stated ‘If I do not walk, I cannot make a work of art’ and has summed up this way of thinking in the simple statement of intent: ‘no walk, no work’. Although only Fulton experiences the walk itself, the texts and photographs he presents in exhibitions and books allow us to engage with his experience”.

HAMISH FULTON – WEBSITE

Lots of clips of walks and events showing Fulton as a ‘walking artist’.

(website accessed March 20, 2019)

HAMISH FULTON – TALK BY CURATOR CLARRIE WALLIS

Born in 1949   – Wanted to make nature the basis of his art. An audio lecture on the works of Richard Long, describing the walks he did and the artwork he created, some of his artwork was only able to be viewed because he took photos, such as when he created a large snowball and and took a photo of the track that the snowball had made in its process of growing larger.  Very detailed and clear.

JUXTAPOSITION – COLLINS ENGLISH DICTIONARY (Accessed March 25, 2019)

“The juxtaposition of two contrasting objects, images, or ideas is the fact that they are placed together or described together, so that the differences between them are emphasized”

LONG, RICHARD – ARTIST

Richard Long’s website is about his sculptures on walks that he has done in various parts of the world.  At least we are led to believe they are his purely because the pictures are on his website, I was a little confused however, as it only mentions the walk and length of time taken, no specific mention of the sculptures or story behind them.  Photos are courtesy of other people so I’m not seeing Long as a photographer more of a sculpturer.

MODERNISM

“Modernism refers to a global movement in society and culture that from the early decades of the twentieth century sought a new alignment with the experience and values of modern industrial life.  Building on late nineteenth-century precedents, artists around the world used new imagery, materials and techniques to create artworks that they felt better reflected the realities and hopes of modern societies”.

Tate Gallery (accessed February 28, 2019)

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/m/modernism

PERSPECTIVE – COLLINS DICTIONARY (accessed March 25, 2019)

“Countable noun

A particular perspective is a particular way of thinking about something, especially one that is influenced by your beliefs or experiences.

Uncountable noun

Perspective is the art of making some objects or people in a picture look further away than others”.

PHOTOMONTAGE – TATE GALLERY  (accessed March 25, 2019)

“A photomontage is a collage constructed from photographs”

POSTMODERNISM

“Postmodernism can be seen as a reaction against the ideas and values of modernism, as well as a description of the period that followed modernism’s dominance in cultural theory and practice in the early and middle decades of the twentieth century.  The term is associated with scepticism, irony and philosophical critiques of the concepts of universal truths and objective reality”

Tate Gallery – (accessed February 28, 2019)

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/p/postmodernism

PRINCIPLES FOR INTERPRETING ART

“The meaning of an artwork should not be limited to what was intended by the artist.  Its meaning might be much broader than even the artist knows”.

Berrett, Terry (1994) Art Education Vol. 47 No. 5 Jstor.org (online). Available at:

(accessed February 28, 2019)

REPRESENTATION – THE WORK OF REPRESENTATION

Hall, S., Evans, J. & Nixon, S. 2013, Representation, Chapter 1 ‘The Work of Representation’

‘Representation means using language to say something meaningful about, or to represent, the world meaningfully, to other people.’

Copied obtained from library.

As recommended by my OCA Tutor for referencing:

“One of the key texts – although quite complex – traces the representation of the social world from a semi-scientific linguistic model (semiotics); to the post-structuralist work of Barthes and Derrida towards ‘discourse’ which creates representation (almost the other way around from the semiotic model) of Michel Foucault”.

FRANK, ROBERT – THE AMERICANS

In his introduction to Robert Frank’s seminal photo book, “The Americans,” Jack Kerouac claimed the photographer had captured “scenes that have never been seen before on film.”

“He was referring not to particular people, places or objects but to “the humor, the sadness, the EVERYTHING-ness and American-ness” Mr. Frank documented as he traveled the country on a Guggenheim Fellowship beginning in 1955. At a time when mainstream publications tended to favor a rosy view of American life, Mr. Frank presented a comparatively stark vision that also challenged the aesthetics of popular photography”

There were nearly 28,000 photos taken of Frank’s journey through America and only 83 of them found their way into the book call The Americans. 

A selection of the photos that didn’t make it into the book can be found in this article written for The New York Times.  (2019)

Frank, Robert.  The Americans Article by Jodan Teicher (2019)

NEW TOPOGRAPHICS – “PHOTOGRAPHS OF A MAN-ALTERED LANDSCAPE”

This Guardian online newspaper article was written by Sean O’Hagen and was mainly about an exhibition containing over 168 black and white photos of landscapes that were basically boring, showing eery empty streets or buildings, pictures of office walls, German Cooling towers and billboards, to name but a few mundane pictures.  William Jenkins was the Curator and at the time the exhibition, held in 1975,  was not received well.  However, the photographs took on a new meaning, truthfulness of what was happening to the American landscape

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/feb/08/new-topographics-photographs-american-landscapes (accessed April 1, 2019)

NEW TOPOGRAPHICS – DESCRIPTION BY TATE GALLERY ONLINE (accessed April 1, 2019)

William Jenkins held an exhibition in 1975 of black and white photographs exhibited by a group of American photographers whose pictures had a similar banal aesthetic, they were formal, prints of the urban landscape (photographers Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz, Nicholas Nixon, Bernd and Hiller Becher).  A certain group of photographers were influenced by these photographers and were called the Dusseldorf School of Photography.

ROUTE 66 – WASHINGTON POST – BY ANDREA SACHS

(Accessed March 19, 2019)

Andrea Sachs writes a lively account of a journey on the famous Route 66, with wonderful photos and descriptions of various stop offs.

SHORE, STEPHEN – AMERICAN SURFACES

Stephen Shore’s project ‘American Surfaces’ is a series of colour landscape-format photographs taken on a road trip across America in 1972/3.  The 312 photos consisted of “Informal portraits, photographs of city and suburban streets, and images of domestic objects, meals and street signage”. (Lewis 2014).  He published a book with 72 of the images in 1999 and held a gallery of his photographs that were unconventionally hung on the walls with backing tape, which at the time was not received well with the critics.  However, today it is said to represent a key moment in the history of photography

“His approach – loosely diaristic and serial in nature – together with his non-hierarchical framing of the image and grid-like method of presentation, indicated links with minimalist and conceptual practices of the 1960s and 1970s”. (Lewis 2014).

Lewis, Emma -(2014) –  Tate Gallery https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/shore-new-york-new-york-march-1972-p81296

(accessed March 18, 2019)

SOTH, ALEC – SLEEPING BY THE MISSISSIPPI

The photographs in the book ‘Sleeping by the Mississippi’ were shot over a five year period and was published in 204 when Soth was 35 years old.

“Sleeping by the Mississippi is a trip along America’s ‘Forgotten Coast’, the neglected banks of the country’s longest river. In 46 immaculately-composed colour images, Soth travels from the frozen northern reaches of the river to the fecund squalor of the Mississippi Delta”.  (BJP 2017)

On the journey Soth would approach people without showing his camera to try and befriend them, he would ask them what their dreams were “A photograph of Peter’s houseboat in Winona, Minnesota, it shows the northern reaches of the river, where the exotic has not yet taken hold. It’s winter and the banks are covered in snow but, Peter writes “I dream of running water”.

Along the way, Soth shows landscapes, interiors and portraits, most of which have a dreamlike and drained atmosphere. He alludes to religion, race, crime, sex and death, showing the lost hope, loneliness and unrealised dreams of the people he meets.

His shots included landscapes, portraits and insides of houses, they centred around religion, race, crime, sex and death which ultimately were of people who had unfulfilled dreams, mothers and daughters, prostitutes and a man on a houseboat, to name but a few.

Soth says “I always remember what Capa said to Cartier-Bresson: ‘Don’t keep the label of a surrealist photographer. Be a photojournalist. If not, you will fall into mannerism. Keep surrealism in your little heart, my dear’. I do have the capacity to be self-indulgent and I can be over-poetic, so it’s really healthy to do assignments.”

Soth, Alec – Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004) British Journal of Photography,  interview (2004)  – https://www.bjp-online.com/2017/11/alec-soth-mississippi/ (accessed March 19, 2019)

THE ONGOING MOMENT – by SEAN O’HAGAN, Little Brown books

Recommended to read by OCA.  Sean O’Hagan discusses 42 photographers from the early 1800s to the present day, apparently he doesn’t own a camera and doesn’t give an academic point of view – try to look at subjects common to all photographers such as benches, roads, doors, blind people, hats, fences, streets.   He tries to define the differing styles and sensibilities that make those subjects appear both definably similar and infinitely different.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE “DECISIVE MOMENT”

Article written by John Suler in his book ‘Photographic Psychology: Image and Psyche.  Refers to Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Book (1952), a photographer who was founder of modern photojournalism “proposed one of the most fascinating and highly debated concepts in the history of photography: “the decisive moment”.  This moment occurs when the visual and psychological elements of people in a real life scen spontaneously and briefly come together in perfect resonance to express the essence of that situation  Some people believe that the unique purpose of photography, as compared to other visual arts, is to capture this fleeting, quintessential, and holistic instant in the flow of life.  For this reason, many photographers often mention the decisive moment, or similar ideas about capturing the essence of a transitory moment, when they describe their work”.

Suler, John – The Psychology of the “Decisive Moment” – Photographic Psychology article – Available at (accessed March 12, 2019)

TOPOGRAPHICS – “PHOTOGRAPHS OF A MAN-ALTERED LANDSCAPE”

This guardian article was

THE WORK OF ART IN THE AGE OF MECHANICAL REPRODUCTION by WALTER BENJAMIN

Essay translated by Harry John from the 1935 essay written by Walter Benjamin.  New York: Schocken Books (1969) Available at: Mit Education. (accessed online March 12, 2019)

15 separate sections on the changes in the arts, whether it is as an actor on stage or in films, or a Greek statue being reproduced, to paintings being copied and photographs being ‘doctored’ Benjamin’s argument is you loose the ‘Aura’ due to the mechanical changes as it takes away the true original piece of art.  “For Aura is tied to his presence; there can be no replica of it”

“Mechanical reproduction of art changes the reaction of the masses tow

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